Friday, September 23, 2011

Spruce Kings Win Their Season Opener

Paul De Jersey (8) was the centre of attention all night
and for all the right reasons, scoring twice in a
Spruce Kings 6-3 win to start the season

The Prince George Spruce Kings have opened up their 40th Anniversary season with a win! It was brilliant at times, it was slow at times, but as they say, a win is a win. The Spruce Kings will look to use this momentum tomorrow, as they will host the Merritt Centennials once again. But before we go that far, let's take a quick look back at tonight's big win.

The game started as one would expect for a season opener. Both teams spent the first half of the game trying to find their legs and establish some chemistry with their new teammates. The all important first goal went to the Spruce Kings as Paul De Jersey capitalized on a broken play and put home a bouncing puck at 11:31 of the 1st. Scott McHaffie and hulking defenceman Ben Woodley added the assists on the first goal of the season for Prince George. Then Jujhar Khaira picked up where he left off last season picking the corner with a beautiful wrist shot that bounced out of the net just as fast as it went into it. The rest of the period saw the physical play continue; the period ended with the Spruce Kings leading it 2-0

It seemed things were about to get out of hand in the 2nd, as Leo Fitzgerald fired one home after some nice work from his brother Myles Fitzgerald and Ben Woodley. But, the Cents did not come to Prince George to be rolled over. They stormed back after that goal and controlled the next 10 minutes of play, firing all sorts of chances and finally captain Evan Stack put home a power play marker at 10:23. But, as it did many times tonight, the momentum shifted once again and an ill advised penalty by the Centennials lead to Paul De Jersey notching his second of the game setup nicely by line mate Jujhar Khaira. Again, the momentum shifted, and with just 27 seconds left in the period, Chad Brears made it a two goal hockey game and gave the Cents a much needed boost going into the dressing room.

The third period saw the Centennials come out strong, and come to within a goal as Evan Stack put in his second of the game at 4:43 of the third. That was as close as they would get as Gerry Fitzgerald scored twice in the third to ice the game for the Spruce Kings including the insurance marker 31 seconds after Stack's goal. The shots on goal ended 33-17 in favour of the home team. Kirk Thompson made some sharp saves throughout the game for the Spruce Kings as did Lino Chimienti for the Cents but the bounces went Prince George's way tonight.

Overall it was a game that showed at times just how good the Spruce Kings can be but also showed they still have room for improvement, which is exactly what you want from a win.

Your 3 Stars for the game:

  • 3)Centennials: Evan Stack – 2 goals
  • 2)Spruce Kings: Jujhar Khaira – 1 goal 2 assists
  • 1)Spruce Kings: Paul De Jersey – 2 goals 1 assists
I caught up with the first star of tonight's game afterwards and asked him what he thought of the win to start the season.

download audio file

For a full recap of scores, shots, penalties etc, click here

The Spruce Kings will now get ready to host the Centennials once again, tomorrow night at the Castle. Puck drops at 7:00pm as Prince George will look to start off the season with a 2-0 record. After the physicality we saw tonight, especially in the 3rd period, we should be in for a great game tomorrow night. As always, if you can't be at the Coliseum for a home game, you can find the broadcast with myself and Todd Doherty on the BCHL's website here.

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